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Inclusion

DEFINITION

  • Inclusion: Leveraging the unique backgrounds and experiences of all employees to meet the needs of customers and to achieve business goals. Inclusion is the process of removing the barriers to organizational competition thus allowing people who are different to compete equitably. In an inclusive organization, employees' skills and talents are recognized, used effectively, valued and drive organizational success.

CHARACTERISTICS

  • Positive publicity for efforts results in enhanced public image, which attracts minority and women candidates.
  • Demographic representation that is on par with general population. Focus on maintaining the diversity within the legal department.
  • People of color and women in senior management positions (direct reports to general counsel).
  • Needs of all attorneys have been identified and solutions are devised and implemented to improve productivity and communication.
  • Minorities and women feel included and challenged to improve professionally.
  • Rules for promotion or career advancement are specified and clearly communicated to all attorneys.

SENIOR MANAGEMENT

  • Diversity part of strategic plan/ initiatives.
  • Regular reports to Board of Directors on results of diversity initiatives.
  • Senior management accessibility emphasized to all employees.

STRUCTURE

  • Law department diversity committee and/or formal plan.
  • Reports reviewed regularly by senior management on status of diversity efforts.
  • Compensation of senior management tied to results of diversity efforts.

RECRUITMENT

  • Women and attorneys of color and/or employee resource/networking groups used to provide educational workshops and/or in the recruitment of talented attorneys.
  • Company maintains good relationship with local communities.
  • Participation in minority vendor or job fairs as well as minority bar association events.
  • Law student summer internship.
  • Employee referral bonus.
  • Post open jobs throughout the department.

RETENTION

  • Work/life initiatives to meet needs of attorneys with family commitments.
  • Mandatory educational training on awareness of issues of minority and women conducted on an ongoing basis.
  • Corporate culture surveys to get feedback from employee perceptions.
  • Reciprocal mentoring program to develop high potential attorneys.
  • Leadership behaviors identified and communicated to the full department.
  • 360-degree feedback for senior management.
  • Succession plan identifies high-potential employees and provides opportunities to develop professionally through leadership education.

EXTERNAL DIVERSITY

  • Track dollars spent with Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) and minority and women partners or associates in majority-owned firms. Reports generated and reviewed on an ongoing basis (quarterly or bi-annually) by senior management including general counsel.
  • Track Tier 2 spending by outside counsel and other vendors.
  • Maintain a list of vendors who have implemented diversity programs and/ or maintain a diverse employee base.
  • Vendor conferences hosted by company to strategize about how to improve company business practices.
  • Work with small MWBE to improve business relationships and delivery of goods and professional services.
  • Willing to negotiate the price if quality is comparable to larger suppliers.
  • Partner programs with minority bar associations or with groups who work to increase diversity within the legal profession.

METRICS

  • Climate Survey (number of positive vs. number of negative responses broken down into gender, race, legal specialty, and length of tenure sections).
  • Return on Investment of diversity in corporate law department.
  • Career Path movement or progression.*
  • Performance measures.*
  • Culture and environment.
  • Skills and language representation.
  • Turnover costs.
  • Promotion rates.*
  • Retention differentials.*
  • Compensation equity analysis.*
  • Complaints/grievance rates and costs.
  • Program utilization (work/life programs, leadership development, educational training) as measured by participation and/or attendance.
  • Productivity of homogeneous group vs. diverse group as measured by output quantity, quality and time to complete.

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